Saturday, May 29, 2010

Week 4 of Ministry Partner Development

Hello all!  This week is my fourth week of Ministry Partner Development and boy has it been a roller-coaster!  I've had three MPD appointments this week.  I've called more people this week to set up appointments and to follow up with letters that I sent them.  That takes a lot of faith, at least for me, because I am really putting myself out there.  A good handful of the people I've called have inaccurate numbers so I can't follow up with them in that way.  Some of the other people that I've called have said no to supporting me and gave me no referrals.  Referrals are really important in this process because I need to contact and work with as many people as possible; I want lots of people to serve God's Kingdom through this capacity.  This is a great ministry, not because of me, but because of God!

If the call ended in an appointment or a commitment of sorts, I'd feel really encouraged and happy; but if it ended with a "no" and no referrals, I felt a little defeated.  I know I shouldn't base my feelings on these circumstances, but I have a hard time understanding people that say no.  Isn't this important to them?  I know that not everyone has the same passion and calling to missions as I do, but I do beleieve everyone should help with missions (stateside or over seas) any way they can (financially or or through prayer).  I DO believe everyone is called to at least that.

I'm understanding more and more that my passion for missions is different from others'; the Lord has handcrafted each of us, inside and out, and because of that we have different wants/desires, likes and dislikes, etc.  I think it's a beautiful thing, that God created each of us so differently; it shows His creative side!

I feel so blessed to be called to missions!  To me it's a dream come true, I can't beleive that I get to serve the Lord in this manner.  BEST JOB EVER!!!  Despite the challenge of Ministry Partner Development, I believe it to be worth it.  Missions is necessary, so necessary, and there are different ways to be involved: praying, giving, and going.  I have done all three, but  I understand that not everyone can go, but most everyone can give (even if "only a little", any amount to the Kingdom of God helps build it up) and certainly everyone can pray.  Missions exist because God loves us, all of us, and He wants everyone to hear and understand that Gospel.  Hel oves us that much.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

oh yea!

So this week I've gotten more stuff done for STINT than usual (I plan on increasing this) and this really excites and comforts me.  Today I talked to my Ministry Partner Development coach, Alison (who's wonderful, by the way), and told her all the stuff I'd gotten done, and stuff that I was working on, and planning to working.  We also talked about how I am doing spiritually and emotionally and otherwise.  I was talking to a friend of mine who is raising support for STINTing in Chile and a wave of excitement came over me.

Sometimes, just out of the blue, I get really excited about Argentina!  I'm perpetually happy about it, but then these waves of excitement and anticipation about STINTing spontaneously come!  This is real!  I'm really getting to do this!

Yesterday was my college-young adult pastor's birthday and he said that he's literally quit jobs over having to work on his birthday; but what he said after that struck me: even though technically he was working on his birthday, he feels like he's doing what he was born to do.  I can understand that fully: even though I am working really hard, and feel lonely, frustrated, and overwhelmed at times concerning STINT, it's all worth it because I feel like I'm doing what I was born to do, at least for that amount of time.

We are created to glorify God, this is how I'm fulfilling that.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Raising support...eh

Hello!  I wanted to give y'all an update on how I'm doing and feeling thus far.  I have to raise support for STINT; this means that I depend upon different people, organizations, groups, companies, or whoever to give financially in order for this ministry to work.  I build this team of people, Ministry Partners, by writing letters, making calls, going on appointments, maybe even doing fundraisers.  Once a week my Ministry Partner Development coach and I have a phone appointment (she lives in a different city) and talk about the process: what I'm doing, what I need to be doing, goals,  and accomplishments.  She has been WONDERFUL and I am so glad that that's she's walking me through this process.

I am not the best planner, nor do I enjoy making schedules for myself, especially during the Summer months, so this has already been a great challenge for me.  Each day I have so much to do that involves STINT and non-STINT related activities; just the thought makes me stress out.  For me, the toughest part about support raising is starting and getting in the swing of things; but since this is a little different from the support raising I've done before I almost feel like I haven't quite caught my balance just yet.  Support raising before, involved sending out letters and making phone calls to follow-up those letters, this STINT Ministry Partner Development is much more involved because I meet with some people face-to-face and remain in consistent contact with Ministry Partners to keep them in the loop with the ministry they are investing in.

I trust the Lord, and even though I am constantly challenged in this wonderful process, I know He will provide.  One thing I remind myself of constantly is that: when we're obedient to what God tells us to do, He provides a way for us to carry out His will.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

For the Bible Tells Us So...

Hello! So I love the Bible and what the Bible says about God's heart for "the nations".  When I and other people say "the nations", they mean anywhere but their homeland.  Here are some verses that really are strong reminders for me, and hopefully you, of why missions are Biblical.
>>>Matthew 28:18-20~ And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
>>>John 3:16-17~ For God so loved the world, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.
>>>Romans 10:14-15~ But how are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"
>>>Revelation 7:9-10~ After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

There are definitely more where that came from, but these are some of my favorites!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My calling to and vision for Argentina

Hello folks!  I wanted to take some time to share more deeply how the Lord has called me to missions in Argentina, so here is my CALLING STORY
     My story starts when I was a child, even before I was a Christian.  When I was around kindergarten age, 5 or 6 years (perhaps younger), I told my mommy that when I grew up I wanted to travel around the world and learn about/explore/live amongst the different cultures and languages and religions of the world.  But, I said, I also wanted to tell them about Jesus;  I asked her if there was such a job and she told me yes and it's called a missionary.  All throughout my life, this has been a consistent desire of my heart, to: go into all the nations and tell them about the love of Jesus.
           Fast forward to Summer 2009 where I went on a Summer Missions Project to San Jose, Costa Rica with Campus Crusade for Christ.  It was there that I was reminded of my love and passion for Latin American culture and the Spanish language.  The Fall semester of 2009 was a challenging semester for me, but not so much in the academic sense.  I was really wrestling with life after graduation, I just did not feel at peace about what I had planned (to go directly into teaching) post-graduation.  At the end of the semester, I learned that I would not be graduating in May, but in December instead.  At first I was really bummed and disappointed, but then I said to the Lord "well something awesome better come out of this".
     That Winter Break the Lord really was dealing with me and letting me wrestle with all the exectations I had placed on the future I thought was mine and for me to decide.    On Christmas Eve, the LORD woke me with a dream that clearly told me I was not to return to Costa Rica on Summer Project, this saddened me greatly because I had a true desire to return.  I went to the Winter conference, Encounter '09, of Campus Crusade for Christ and on an innocent whim went to an interest session for STINT (Short Term International); upon leaving that session I thought "I could apply to STINT" but I did not really intend to. One night I was at a friend's college and young adult group and was taking time to listen and respond to the Lord; as I was doing that, the Lord simply asked me "Do you trust me with your life?"  I was taken aback by this question, almost insulted.  Why of course I trusted Him with my life, right?  It took about 20 minutes of me trying to say yes, but always attaching conditions to the answer until I was finally able to say yes without if's, and's, or but's.  Once I did that, instantly all the weight I had been carrying, all the worry, all the confusion, all the frustration went away instantaneously!  24 hours later, God told me to apply to STINT and so I did.  This made things suddenly make sense, that's why I wasn't graduating until December, God had other plans!
    I applied to STINT in 1)Costa Rica 2)Argentina and 3)Mexico City; I applied "knowing" that I would go to Costa Rica if I went at all.  I got a message and calls explaning that the STINT year for Costa Rica was being adjusted to the point where I would not be able to go because I would still be in school; they encouraged me to pray about STINTing in Argentina.  I was not happy about it but the Lord made it apparent that that's where He is sending me and I chose to be obedient.  I chose and choose to give up my comfort for His Kingdom.
    The Lord has trully changed my heart and my mind about Argentina and now I am excited and find it to be such a priviledge to be used by God in a way that I have dreamed of since I was young.  He is consistently confirming His will by reminding me of all the times when I originally wanted to go Argentina and by putting people in my life to help me prepare.

MY VISION FOR ARGENTINE STUDENTS
          My vision for the Argentine students is for them to learn to live a Spirit filled life leading to obedience to the Lord. This obedience and sensitivity to the Lord's will will lead to the natives taking ownership of the Cruzada Estudantil y Profesional para Cristo movement(the Campus Crusade for Christ movement in Argentina)(http://www.facebook.com/CruzadaEstudiantil.Argentina) and continue to trust the Lord to "win lost students to Christ, build them up in their faith and send them out to do likewise".

I hope this was helpful and clear, please let me know if you have any questions or comments!


en el amor del Cristo (in the love of Christ),
Coléa